Go... Do Things with RSS

Posted on 10 May 2005 in BBC, Web Development (No comments)

A press release about RSS feeds isn't going to set the world alight.

One that starts off telling you to go off and reuse the feed in exciting ways might just.

The BBC now wants to make it possible for other websites to use the same RSS feeds to create updating headlines on their site, subject to terms and conditions which will be published online.

BBC Press Release: bbc.co.uk calls web community to re-use news feeds

isn't hugely exciting to read. This however...

Subject to the terms of this Agreement the BBC grants you a non-transferable, non-sublicensable, royalty free non-exclusive licence to display on your website ("Site") the headlines, active links or other source identifiers and other information or materials that you specifically select to receive from the BBC via the BBC Feed ("BBC Content").

BBC RSS Feed: Standard Licence Terms

The BBC's done those little "Headlines for your site" boxes before. But it's been very prescribed, very controlled. You must do this, you must display that. And as a format... Well, if you want a headline in a box, well you could have it. Wanted a brief description of each headline? Err... Nope.

And the BBC's done RSS. And the BBC told you you could only use it in a reader for your own stuff. Like any content provider, the BBC was a bit protective of what it produced.

Until today.

Now those RSS feeds on BBC News and BBC Sport, well that license tells you that you can do things. It could be something as normal as putting the top five headlines on your site, or you could be using the feeds to ask where in the world the news is happening.

They can be cool. They can be normal. They can be plain dull if you like. But it doesn't matter. Just go and do it if you want to.

Some might say this is overdue. That this is what RSS was designed for in the first place. And yes it is. But then, organisations don't like to give up control of their content easily. Especially if the organisation isn't some funky new media company.

The BBC is changing. The Creative Archive was the beginning. And now it continues.

Oh yeah... and in case you didn't notice it...

If used as part of the BBC BackStage project, then the following wording needs to be added: "powered by backstage.bbc.co.uk"

BBC RSS Feed: Standard Licence Terms

backstage.bbc.co.uk? Ah well... you'll have to wait just a bit longer for that one...

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